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Questions Answered by Richard Sternberg
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Rat infestation on rental property, who is responsible for cost?

This is my 3rd year with tenants and first time with rats. We believe they are coming from vacant bar next door. I had Health Department come out and they are opening a claim on the new owners of that property. I got one estimate so far for an extermination service to get rid of rats and... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 31, 2023

If we are talking about a commercial lease, generally the lease controls. Get a lawyer to review the lease and negotiate a resolution with the neighboring property owner harboring the vermin infestation. If this is a residential lease, the answer depends a bit on the locality, but, as a general... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My ex-husband left the majority of his money to our son in a trust. He also left $80,000 to two charities but did not

have the funds to cover same. Must the money for these charitable bequests be taken from my son's trust?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 31, 2023

You need to review these matters with a lawyer. If the trust is a pourover trust which was funded from the estate, you get a different answer than if it was a funded inter vivos trust. It's also different depending on the source of the charitable funds. A review of the will, the trust, and the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: if someone owned a small business and you are co-president of the company and he dies with a non signed witness will,

and you are running the business do I have any rights?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Almost nothing in your description is relevant to answering your question. You need to sit down with a lawyer, describe the assets in a manner cognizable at law, and determine where you stand legally. Many lawyers offer consults by Zoom from the convenience of your home of office.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: Lease agreement help

I am planning to buy a condo in dc for renting for secondary income. Can you help to get this done properly and legally. What are your fees? Thanks

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 19, 2023

Under Justin’s terms of service as well as the ethical rules of our profession, this site isn’t a “hiring hall” as in the union trades. We aren’t permitted to respond to calls for employment. Here are some ideas for finding a lawyer:

I’ve written this same answer several times...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: I would like to live in my house till I die and leave it to my son who lives with me. A neighbor said file a quick claim

I am divorced. want to file quick claim deed . Im

age 90 he lives with me now. a neighbor also said deed of gift

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Your neighbors are wrong. Giving away your property means giving away your property. It is your son’s property from that date, and he can put you in a nursing home or begin renovations immediately once it is his. The fee cheaper solution is a simple will drafted by a lawyer. If there are other... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: After taking care of my roommate for 10 yrs and I was told to move out. What is my right?

have been leaving with my roommate who is the owner of this condo for 10 years. I have been told I need to move out. I do have a deed said if something happens to him j get this place. Now things have turned in a different direction. His daughter is planning on selling the place. I don't know... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 29, 2022

If you have a written promise or a deed, you need to see a lawyer now. Or, you could surrender your rights forever and go away.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Do I have to retain multiple lawyers?

If my business is in Maryland, and the business is being sued by entities outside of my state/county - do I have to retain lawyers from these particular areas?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 26, 2022

You will need a lawyer where the lawsuit is filed, but your lawyer in Maryland can probably coordinate that and try to get the case moved or dismissed and brought to you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Public Benefits for Virginia on
Q: I believe a high pension no cash out makes me ineligible for Medicaid. My state no Miller trust to live at poverty

Level which is undesirable. Will or living trust? Any Help with elder orphan status in law firms trustee holder. Executor, financial poa esp if not a solo law office?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 25, 2022

It is difficult for me to understand your question as written, but, in any event, there is no way to analyze your situation in any usable manner without reviewing your finances, the trust, and your state's Medicaid law. There are often means to qualify for Medicaid using special needs trusts,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother's will list my brother & myself. As heir to her estate. My brother pass. What happens now? I'm left executive

Also power of attorney. Does his wife now get half? Or I'm I the sole heir

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 8, 2022

It's not that simple. You need to read what the Will says, determine whether the named beneficiaries are renouncing formally, and then apply the facts. Do yourself a favor and buy a consult from a local lawyer.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: I have a commercial lease client who says they've installed footing in our arena. Now they want to take it. Can they?

When our client moved in, we had footing. Our footing was replaced and our agreement was that we would retain the new footing after they left. Now they've hired an attorney who is saying they're going to take the footing and leave nothing. Shouldn't our footing be a fixture that... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 30, 2022

Sounds like you need a lawyer to answer them. Unless altered by the lease, fixtures to property remain part of the property. Further, if the lease proscribes alterations without approval, there shouldn't have been any alterations, and, if the alteration was permitted, the approval should have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: if land owner dies how does the lease get "self renewed"

Rental agreement self renews every year 12/1. Home owner died 9/9 is the self renewal still valid?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 29, 2022

You really need a review of your lease rather than a generalized answer that may or may not apply to your lease. But, in Virginia, title to land passes by operation of law to the heir or beneficiary if one is named in a Will subject to recapture to fund the estate. That means that the title now... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: I'm a renter in an apartment complex in Havre de Grace Maryland I do not have a working shower or a working kitchen sink

Maintenance Request form was submitted over a week ago via multiple avenues (on-line form, hard copy as well as several follow up calls and no response whatsoever). Please help. I'd like to b showered for the holiday.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 21, 2022

It’s best to consult legal counsel, because landlord and tenant practice tends to be local, but Maryland law allows tenants to withhold rent and use that rent to repair health issues such as water, heat, and sewage service. You’ve notified. Hire the best licensed plumber in town for emergency... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: We have existing will and trust. Can we modify current successor trustee with an addendum we create and notarize?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 21, 2022

I agree with Mr. Wilson, and I would add that the expense saved by turning this into a DIY job may be dwarfed by the expense of fixing it later. For example, the Will and the Trust should not be modified in the same document. The Will is a transitory documents, but the Trust is active upon... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother passed, had no will, my sister was handling the estate. She works for a criminal attorney that is now handling

My mothers estate? But mind you he couldn't represent me in criminal court because of conflict of interest cause my sister works for him. Should be the same with the estate?? I asked my sister for a copy of estate paper work and I'm getting no response? I need to know what my rights are... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 11, 2022

If you wish to be informed, you need to file the correct form, particularly if you previously waived notice. Paying a lawyer to coordinate this may be helpful.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: What happens if someone refuses to sign probate papers?

Everyone has already appeared in Orphan's court and agreed to the administators. Bit now one person is refusing to sign the approval papers. Can the court make everyone proceed with probate?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 10, 2022

Your question says you are in DC, but it is posed as a Maryland question, and I am going to guess the estate is filed in PG County, because, even though it's called Orphan's Court formally, in Montgomery, the hearings are in the Circuit Court by the Circuit Court bench, so laypeople never... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Do the Home Owner Association have the right to stop home owners from walking their dogs on the property.

Or walking their dogs on the community street to get the dogs off the property for a walk on the public street.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 8, 2022

The answer starts with a review of the HOA bylaws. It continues to checking them against the covenants. It continues to reviewing the procedural integrity of the process that created the presumably new rule. And, then, at least as to rules involving public thoroughfares, the result gets checked... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for District of Columbia on
Q: We just settled my deceased parents' estate in July 2022. We have since found out that he owns 2 more houses. What now?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 3, 2022

You'll need to reopen the estate to correct the other titles or sell the properties. In DC, that won't be very complex since the death was under the post-1995 rules, but having a lawyer would be helpful.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: I would like to know how do I move forward on finding what assets my dad who passed away last year had.

My sister sold his house in Chicago and moved him to Virginia three months before he passed away. I checked the Prince William County Probate office and a Will has not been filed. What Kind of attorney should I look for? I need an Virginia attorney.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 3, 2022

It sounds like you need a lawyer who covers probate in the suburban Virginia. There are many of those, and if you become the administrator, you might eventually be able to pay for counsel from the estate's assets. But, you need to start with a consult, and many lawyers offer Zoom consults.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If there are things coming to light in a house we purchased that we’re not disclosed what can be done
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 2, 2022

Consult counsel with details, but those details do not belong on an open, Internet site.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: How can my ex husband take over the condo we bought during marriage? We are now divorced and he wants the condo now.

We are divorced, recently in fact. My name is on the loan it was easier to buy during our marriage that way. Our names are both on the deed however. I have a conventional loan through the mortgage. I believe my loan isn’t assumable?

How does it work if he wants to take over the loan? He... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 1, 2022

Your best course is to require that he refinance or that you sell the property. As long as you are on the mortgage, you are responsible for the mortgage loan and it will appear on your credit report as your debt.

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